The Best Fluffy Gooey Cinnamon Rolls Ever

The Best Fluffy Gooey Cinnamon Rolls Ever

What’s better than fresh-baked fluffy gooey cinnamon rolls? A homemade version you can eat in your pajamas! The smell of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls always filled the air at the shopping malls we grew up going to. But who wants to go to the mall every time you have a craving?

Now we have our perfect recipe for the best fluffy gooey cinnamon rolls. No hard crusty edges or dry rolls here! Every single bite will be filled with soft fluffy cinnamon roll all thanks to our SECRET INGREDIENT hack!

Cinnamon Roll Checklist

Everyone has a different opinion about what makes a great cinnamon roll. This is just OUR list of absolute must-haves when it came to creating the best fluffy gooey cinnamon roll!

  1. Gooey Center! This was by far the number one must-have we worked on first. If our cinnamon roll didn’t have the all-important gooey center then we didn’t want it!
  2. Fluffy Texture! Don’t you hate it when you get an edge piece of the cinnamon roll and it’s hard and crusty on the outside? Blah…
  3. Cream Cheese Frosting! This is just a matter of preference. We like the thickness and spreadability of cream cheese frosting. And we prefer our frosting to not be TOO sweet.
  4. Cinnamon Flavor! Again a matter of preference. We wanted our homemade cinnamon rolls to have lots of cinnamon flavor.

Fluffy Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls with and without cream cheese frosting

We tried to make a fluffy gooey cinnamon rolls recipe that was both delicious and easy! This means easy to find ingredients, as little labor as possible, and one simple ingredient that will keep your cinnamon rolls moist and gooey.

Cinnamon rolls consist of three parts: the dough, the filling, and the frosting. Let’s talk about the dough first.

Fluffy Cinnamon Roll Dough

Dough unproofed and proofed
Left: unproofed dough, Right: proofed dough

We wanted to keep our recipe simple, using things that most people would either have in the pantry or are easily found in their local grocery store.

  • Saf Instant Yeast – Any instant yeast will do but we found Saf was the most common in our local grocery stores. And it worked just fine in our recipe. If you can’t find it in your local grocery store, it is available at Amazon here.
  • Whole Milk – Most recipes we saw online don’t specify which type of milk but we always reach for whole milk when we bake.
  • Granulated Sugar – Almost everyone should have this in their pantry!
  • UNSALTED Butter – Idk about everyone else but we grew up STRICTLY using unsalted butter while baking. UNSALTED > SALTED
  • Kosher Salt – We prefer Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt for our cooking and baking needs. But if all you have is table salt, then go ahead and use that. Just use HALF as much table salt.
  • Large Eggs – Again something everyone should have.
  • All-Purpose Flour – We opted for AP flour over bread flour out of convenience.

Gooey Cinnamon Filling

Gooey cinnamon filling

All you need is three ingredients and one secret ingredient. Super simple, super easy.

  • Dark Brown Sugar – We prefer to use dark brown for this recipe for a deeper flavor and more moisture. But light brown will work fine if that is what you have.
  • Ground Cinnamon – We made sure our cinnamon rolls had a nice balanced cinnamon flavor. Not too little, not too much.
  • Unsalted Butter – Yes, more butter. Butter makes everything taste good!
  • Heavy CreamSECRET INGREDIENT ALERT! Okay seriously, who knew one ingredient could make all the difference?

Cream Cheese Frosting

Fluffy gooey cinnamon rolls with close up

Everyone has their preference when it comes to frosting but we chose a cream cheese frosting for ours. We love the thickness and spreadability of it. Just the right amount of sweetness as well!

  • Unsalted Butter – Yes yes more butter. We never said this recipe would be healthy…
  • Powdered Sugar – In order to get a smooth, creamy frosting you need to use powdered (confectioner’s) sugar. No granulated sugar here.
  • Cream Cheese – Any brand will do but we always go with the classic Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
  • Vanilla Extract – Local store-bought vanilla extract will do just fine but if you’re looking to splurge a bit try out Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. (This is one of our favorites!)
  • Kosher Salt – Again, get some Diamond Crystal and you won’t regret it.

Recommended Equipment

To make this recipe as easy as possible we do recommend the following equipment:

  • KitchenAid Stand Mixer – Stand mixers are the workhorse of the pastry world. They really can do it all! There are two styles: the Tilt-Head or the Bowl-Lift. We are split in our preference, Dan prefers Bowl-Lift while Ann likes Tilt-Head.
  • Hand Mixer – This will allow you to make frostings, icings, and whipped creams super fast and easy. We have this model.
  • Rolling Pin – We tried both the French tapered rolling pins and the “roller” style pin for this recipe. For us, the roller style pin was easier to use and get even results.

Tips and Tricks

These steps are absolutely essential if you want fluffy gooey cinnamon rolls.

  • Double check that yeast – You can’t make light fluffy rolls if your yeast is bad. Bloom your instant yeast in warm milk for 5 minutes. If your yeast is still good the mixture should turn frothy on top.
  • Milk at the right temperature – Make sure the milk for blooming the yeast is between 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Too cold and it won’t bloom, too hot and it will kill the yeast.
  • HEAVY CREAM IS KEY! – Right before baking our delicious cinnamon rolls, we poured warm heavy cream on and around the rolls. This gives the end product that rich gooey filling!
Proofed rolls with heavy cream

We hope you like our cinnamon rolls just as much as we do. Seriously, we plan to bake these any time we have an excuse. Birthday party? Cinnamon rolls. Holidays? Cinnamon rolls. Oh, it’s the weekend? Cinnamon rolls.

Let us know in the comments how you like it! Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest as well.

Fluffy Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with frosting
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Other Recipes to Try

Fluffy Gooey Cinnamon Rolls with frosting

Cinnamon Rolls

The best fluffy gooey cinnamon rolls ever! Better than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. Including a secret ingredient recipe hack to ensure quality cinnamon rolls every time!
4.5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 23 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 1 cup warm whole milk 105 to 110°F
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp sugar separated
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temp/softened
  • 2 large eggs at room temp
  • 4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt preferably Diamond Crystal

Cinnamon Filling

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter at room temp/softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream SECRET INGREDIENT

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 9 tbsp unsalted butter at room temp/softened
  • 6 tbsp cream cheese at room temp
  • 2 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt preferably Diamond Crystal


Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • In a small bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, and 1 tsp of the sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Into the bowl of a stand mixer add the rest of the sugar, butter, eggs, flour and salt. Using the paddle attachment, mix until just combined. Scrape the dough off the paddle and remove it.
  • Pour the yeast/milk mixture onto the dough and attach the dough hook. Knead the dough on low/medium speed for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is smooth and comes clean from the side of the bowl.
  • Place the dough in a large bowl lightly coated with oil. Cover with a clean damp towel and set it in a warm place. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Cinnamon Filling

  • While the dough is rising, prepare the cinnamon filling. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined.


  • Once it has doubled in size, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour.
  • Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a rectangle measuring about 16×12" and about 1/4" thick. (It's okay if the measurements aren't exact, what is important is the rectangle shape.)
  • Use a pastry brush to spread the 1/3 cup softened butter evenly over the flattened dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the dough making sure to get all the way to every edge.
  • Starting from the long edge, begin to roll the dough tightly to the other end.
  • Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces. The easiest way is to cut the roll in half, then cut those in half again leaving you with 4 equal pieces. Now cut each quarter into 3 equal pieces.
  • Place the cut rolls into a greased 9×13" baking pan. We arrange our rolls 4 by 3.
  • Cover the pan with a damp towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Heat the heavy cream until it is warm or slightly above room temp.
  • Once the rolls have doubled in size, pour the warm heavy cream on and around the cinnamon rolls. Allow the cream to soak in and around the rolls.
  • Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are golden brown and the middle rolls are cooked through.
  • While you let the baked rolls cool down, make the cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large bowl, add the softened unsalted butter and cream cheese. Use a hand mixer to thoroughly combine.
  • Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and kosher salt. Beat until combined.
  • Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the cooled cinnamon rolls. Serve and enjoy!


Keyword Cinnamon Roll

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Katie

    5 stars

    I made these for Thanksgiving morning and they were delicious! I did have to add around an extra cup and half of flour as the dough was very sticky. Other than that they were amazing!

  2. Anna

    4 stars

    Just making them now! I adapted the frosting because I like more of the tartness of cream cheese. I also had to add more flour because my dough was sticky. It didn’t rise but I think that’s because my yeast might’ve been on the older side. I also added raspberries and blueberries into the brown sugar/cinnamon filling.

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